Monday, October 06, 2008

Q&A: A Veteran Starting Pitcher

Asked in another forum.....
Q: Are the Twins satisfied with the young SP or will they go to the well and grab a vet or was the Livan experiment enough for them to stick with the youth? It seemed Blackburn and others began to tire at the end of the year.

In 2003, when Eric Milton got hurt in spring training, rather than use the left-handed prospect they had in the bullpen, the Twins went out and signed left-handed Kenny Rogers. Why? Because they didn't want to count on the left-handed prospect too much, they liked having him in the bullpen, and because they liked having depth.

That left-handed prospect was Johan Santana.

Oh, and here's the kicker - Santana wasn't an unknown at the time. He had been pressed into starting duty in 2002 because of injuries. In 14 starts, he had posted a 7-4 record, a 3.13 ERA and 89K in 74.2 innings.

So will they sign a veteran pitcher?

Between the five young guys they already have in the rotation, and the amount of pitching talent they already have still in the minors, and the fact that Rick Anderson could probably teach a bowl of linguini to to be a respectable starting pitcher, it makes absolutely NO sense for them to sign a veteran SP this year.

Which brings the chances of them doing so down to 90%.

3 comments:

tang said...

unless they trade one for a third baseman (Beltre) or a SS (Hardy).

tborg said...

The real question is, will the Rockies again pick up the failed vet after the Twins release him mid-season?

TT said...

Because they didn't want to count on the left-handed prospect too much, they liked having him in the bullpen, and because they liked having depth.

That left-handed prospect was Johan Santana.


A move which turned out brilliantly. The Twins won the division and Santana ended up pitching 158 innings while Rogers pitched 195. Even at that, the Twins had to use Carlos Pulido as a starter on one occasion.

That said, I think it is extremely doubtful the Twins are going to sign a veteran for the rotation unless someone gets injured or traded.